Cornell (11-14 SU, 10-9 ATS) at Harvard (15-12 SU, 13-9-1 ATS)
Date/Time: Friday, March 2, 2018, at 7:00 PM ET
Where: Lavietes Pavilion
by Rich Crew, Expert NCAA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: COR +10.5 / HARV-10.5
Over/Under Total: 140
The Cornell Big Red travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts to take on the Harvard Crimson on Friday, March 2, 2018, at the Lavietes Pavilion. The oddsmaker has listed Harvard as a prohibitive -10.5 point spread favorites for this game with a total line of 140 points.
Cornell comes into this match off a narrow 73-68 home victory over Brown and while they did the point spread cover, the Big Red just isn’t playing well right now. They finished their four-game homestand with just two wins, getting the second win in an unimpressive 107-101 triple-overtime victory over the struggling Princeton Tigers. The defense has been a problem for Cornell holding only Brown (twice) to fewer than 70 points in their last ten games.
Harvard is coming off a respectable two-game road trip last weekend where they forged out a 72-66 overtime road victory over Princeton and then headed to The Palestra and battled Penn hard in 74-71 loss. Their backers cashed their tickets with point spread covers in both games which extended the Crimson’s ATS streak to three. This game will be Harvard’s sixth home conference game and with a win, tonight can go into tomorrow with a chance to finish the regular season with a 7-0 home record.
Tonights game will be the second meeting of the season between these two squads with the first resulting in a highly contested 76-73 road win for the Crimson. Both teams shot well in the game with Harvard recording a 47.2 FG% and 47.8% from behind the arc and Cornell a 45.8 FG% and 36% from downtown.
Overall statistically, the Big Red is the better shooting and scoring team, but that advantage disappears when comparing road versus home numbers of the two clubs. The most significant edge in this matchup goes to Harvard’s scoring defense that has a 14.7 point edge in the overall metrics and over 16 points in Ivy League action. The Crimson also holds a formidable advantage in three-point shooting differential (offense vs. defense shooting percentage) with a home +3.7 versus the Big Reds -9.6.
I could make an argument for both teams against the spread. Cornell will need at least one win to solidify the final spot in the four-team Ivy League Tourney, so effort shouldn’t be a problem. Having the ability to do it is another thing. The Big Red were beaten by large margins in three of their last four road games, and take on a team that is not only unbeaten in five matches at home but is also 3-1-1 against the spread. The total is where my money is landing. Harvard plays outstanding defense leading the Ivy League in scoring defense allowing opponents 63.17 points per game and that number improves to 55.2 at home! The two teams did put up 149 points in their earlier meeting, but Harvard was on the road, and Cornell’s scoring slides on the road averaging 68.5 PPG. The Crimson is 4-1 versus the O/U line this season in conference games and should be 5-1 versus the total line after tonight.
Rich Crews Pick: Take the UNDER 140 at a sportsbook that offers 50% deposit bonus and the best in-game betting >>> Bovada